TUO’s Chair Blogs: Stronger together


Hi again!

In this post, I thought I’d tell you about the ways Student Union TUO collaborates with other organizations. To put it mildly, we collaborate a lot!

At first, though, let’s take a quick peek at what my part, as the chairperson of the student union, is in all of this. In a nutshell: the chairperson, together with TUO’s board and staff members, sees to it that the student union carries out its tasks, and reports to the representative body about the student union’s daily activities.

The chairpersons of the student union (who, at the same time, are the chairpersons of the representative body) also arrange the representative body’s meetings, informal hangouts and meetings with the group leaders of different representative body groups. The chairperson also develops the representative body’s working methods. I also think it’s of utmost importance to brief the representative body about issues that’ll be discussed further in the meetings.

TUO doesn’t work alone.

TUO doesn’t work alone. Instead, we actively collaborate with numerous different organizations. For example, Student Union TUO has a representative in the following places:

  • Different working committees within Turku University of Applied Sciences (such as a study ability committee, student livelihood committee, equality committee…)
  • Study in Turku (a collaboration in between the city of Turku, Turku-based higher education institutes, their student unions, and businesses operating in the Turku region)

Besides TUAS and the city of Turku, Student Union TUO works in close collaboration with other student unions. The Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY) and The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University (ÅAS) are some of our closest associates. It’s a tradition that every year after the new boards have been chosen, we visit each others’ offices and get to know each other.

We also collaborate on issues related to the Turku region with the student unions of other Turku-based institutions of higher education. Together with TYY, ÅAS, Student Union of University of Applied Sciences Novia Novium, Student Union of Humak University of Applied Sciences HUMAKO, and The Student Union of Diaconia UAS O’Diako, we form the Group 40,000, a group that does municipal interest work, lobbying, and also organizes events for students.

We’re also long-running collaborators of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences Student Union SAMMAKKO, the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences also being situated in the southern part of western Finland. Yearly, we host a training for our new boards together.

TUO’s trustees also attend many different sorts of events. During the past three months, we have participated in the following (among others):

  • WWF seminar (here, WWF doesn’t stand for World Wildlife Fund – instead, it means Wide West Finland, a network of student unions of universities of applied sciences mostly from the western parts of Finland)
  • SAMOK’s Lähtölaukaus training cruise (the University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland SAMOK is the umbrella organization for Finnish student unions of universities of applied sciences, and it represents students on a national level. SAMOK, in turn, works in close collaboration with the National Union of University Students in Finland SYL)
  • OPKU+ training (OPKU+ is a collaboration in between several student unions mostly based in the Helsinki area. We have a common members registry and all OPKU+ student union members can attend each others’ events for a discounted price)

As you can imagine, all this is a lot of work for everyone working in Student Union TUO’s board, and also for us chairpersons. So why do we do all of this?

It’s because together, we’re stronger.

In short, it’s because together, we’re stronger. As a single student union, we cannot change the whole world, but when we work together with others, it’s like turning the amplifier all the way up to eleven. When enough people raise the same issue, whether it’s within the Turku region or on a national level, it’s going to reach more people than it would if we all worked alone.

Reaching the end of this blog post, I’m ready to admit my texts have been super full of information so far… I just want to explain everything that’s going on in TUO so all readers can better understand the functions of a student union, and also the aspects of my work. So thank you, dear reader, for making it to the end of this text!

I’ll be back soon with a new blog post. Until then, enjoy the spring that’s just around the corner!

– Jose